Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pisa and Florence, Italy - Day 6

We debated if we should go to Pisa or spend another day in Siena for a while but we decided in the end that we had gotten a good taste for Siena (I really like it, it is very chill and reminded me of Rothenburg, Germany - Teresa not so much) and had seen what we had to. So instead of day 2 in Siena we took a side trip to Pisa (you know, the leaning tower).

Getting to Pisa was easy once you get to the train station. We took a local bus but didn't relize we had to already have tickets purchased so we freaked out when the bus stopped and the ticket checkers hopped on. Of course this was the first time we have ever dealt with ticket checkers and one of the few times we have not had a ticket. Fortunately they just let us discreatly get off the bus and be on our way instead of laying the large (I think ~€70) fine! Since I had the GPS I knew we were only 6/10 of a mile from the train station so we just walked.

From Siena you go to Empoli, switch trains and then head to Pisa. Of course our delay was only 10 minutes but the train from Empoli to Pisa ended up sitting in the station for almost an hour. The Itallians need to learn from the Germans how to run a train system. This was the 3rd time we have had a train delay!

Once we got to Pisa we took the bus to the Field of Miracles where the leaning tower is. It is a lot shorter and fatter than I though it was but still very impressive. It was also a very impressive €15 each to climb witha very strict time limit! You buy your ticket for a certain time (our time was an hour later) and then up you go. Teresa went too and she is not big on the climbing. The leaning does freak you out a little at the top. Just hold on to the rails!

After lots of silly pictures leaning on and holding up the tower, we headed for a geocache on the way to the train station and walked the rest of the way back. One more note about the area though. There area million people selling junk in Pisa but Teresa did manage to find a gem. She got a bracelet that a guy makes out of stainless steel silverware. Hers is an apitizer fork. It is really neat and she loves it.

After Pisa we had a direct train to Florence. It was only about an hour. We checked into our hotel, walked around Florence some, saw Ponte Vecchio, saw the Duomo, had more gelato, saw some people we saw on our same flight from JFK to Rome and then were off to bed. Teresa and I started to like Florence the best (so far) immediately.

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